Earnings And Guidance Trends This Season

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More than 1,500 stocks have now reported Q2 earnings, and as shown below, the percentage of them that have beaten consensus EPS estimates is down slightly this quarter versus the last two quarters.

Forward guidance numbers have been more positive than negative thus far. The chart below shows the spread between the percentage of companies raising guidance minus lowering guidance each quarter going back to 2001. After years of companies generally guiding more negative than positive from 2011 through 2016, sentiment has shifted to being more optimistic since the start of 2017.

While still positive this season, the guidance spread has dipped quite a bit versus the past two quarters, and we will be watching this reading closely over the final two weeks of earnings season to make sure it stays positive.

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